Uncaffeinated water, speed, and compassion

Good morning folks.  Thursday’s snuck up on me.  Weren’t we just unpacking the car from Thanksgiving?  (And by “we” I mean Eliot.  I just got out of the car when we pulled into the driveway and never looked back.)  I woke up at four this morning with a disagreeable headache.  My spirits dropped (Enough already with the inflamed sinuses!), until I realized it was just a caffeine headache.  Too much uncaffeinated water while I’ve been getting over this cold.  I am now cheerfully drinking a latte, thinking about breakfast possibilities.

There’s a really great discussion on Geoff Roes’ blog about the value of speed training for ultras.  (If you haven’t already read it.)  I was struck by how much thought runners have given to the speed v. endurance balance in their training.  Or, more to the point, I was struck by how little thought I’ve given to it thus far.  I didn’t run in college or high school, so I feel like a non-swimmer heading toward the deep end of the pool when people talk about training specifics.  Right now Amanda tells me what, where, and how to run.  The only careful thought I give to the workouts is When.  When will I fit the workout into the day and will I have enough time for a shower afterwards?  I agree that sounds irresponsible (and smelly).  Part of my disinterest in taking a more thoughtful role in my training (besides being wildly disorganized and not all that thoughtful for the past three years) stems from a belief that running long distances is valuable because it teaches humility and compassion.  You can develop your potential to serve others by persevering through challenging circumstances a la Kurt Hahn and Outward Bound.  Learning how to run faster hasn’t seemed important to that goal.  But I think speedwork will feel more valuable as the distances themselves become easier to run.  Working hard to keep a fast pace seems like a great route to humilty– and, hopefully, acting more compassionately.

Anyway, acting out of compassion is something I struggle with, so I’m always looking for good training.  But, don’t get me wrong, I mostly run because I love the running.  So dang fun.  Oh, and those big belt buckles.

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2 Responses to Uncaffeinated water, speed, and compassion

  1. Julie says:

    Have fun in San Fran this weekend! Can’t wait to read about your adventure. 🙂

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